By Richard Lockwood

The second day’s play at the ACC Eastern Division T20 at TCG in Bangkok saw convincing wins for Hong Kong who beat Nepal by 43 runs and for Malaysia who overcame Thailand by eight wickets with more than eight overs to spare. We thought this tournament would be very competitive but few expected that after two days Malaysia would head the table with two wins and Nepal would have lost both matches.

Nepal asked Hong Kong to bat first in the morning match and they started confidently with openers scoring 48 in the first six overs as they hit seven fours and one six. Shahid Wasif was out for 26 with the score on 59 but it looked like Nizakat Khan would reach a brilliant fifty but he was caught at deep mid-wicket for 48 from 29 balls with six fours and two sixes. Shushan Bhari dismissed both openers but Hong Kong were well placed at 84 for 2 from 10 overs.

Sandeep Lamichhane had bowled two overs with the new ball but returned to claim the wicket of Kinchit Shah for nought as the third wicket fell on 85. Left arm spinner Kusal Malla dismissed Haroon Arshad for 27 to leave the score on 110 for 4 after 14 overs as Nepal fought back well.

Former captain Jamie Atkinson made a comeback for Hong Kong and the former Warwickshire player used his experience to hit Sandeep for six but perished later in the over as he was stumped for 13. The scoreboard read 126 for 5 after 17 overs as Sandeep finished with two for 25 in his four overs.

Karan KC came back to bowl the penultimate over but Aizaz Khan hit him over long on for six and 13 came off the over before Aizaz was run out attempting a second run. Nepal finished on 154 for 6 from their 20 overs which was exactly the same score as they managed against Malaysia and they finished 22 runs short in the chase.

Nepal’s openers are both called Malla but are no relation and very different in their batting styles. Kushal is a slight left-hander who recently became the youngest man to score an ODI fifty and captain Gyanendra is tall and powerful. They had scored only 17 from three overs without a boundary but 19 came from the next over bowled by Kinchit Shah as Gyanendra led the way with a six and a four and his young partner hit two fours.

Young Kusal possibly got carried away and was caught at mid on off Haroon Arshad for 19 but he had given a glimpse of his rich potential and Nepal were 42 for one. Former captain Paras Khadka joined the current captain and a boundary off the last ball of the powerplay took the total to 49 for one. Khadka was second out lbw to off-spinner Ehsan Khan and Dipendra Airee came to the crease looking to improve on the solid partnership from the previous day.

Airee played a well-timed reverse sweep off the off-spinner but was caught behind attempting an orthodox sweep as Ehsan Khan claimed his second wicket. Nepal were 68 for three after 10 overs and spin was taking control as Aftab Hussain claimed the wicket of the dangerous Pawan Sarraf as he was caught at long on. The pressure was mounting on Nepal and Binod Bhandari fell to left-arm spinner Aftab Hussain as five wickets were down with the score on 79.

Aftab Hussain struck the vital blow when he had Gyanendra Malla stumped for 46 from 42 balls. The captain of Nepal had made a bright start by hitting four fours and a six but he had got tied down with no boundaries since the eighth over and Aftab finished with an excellent spell of three for 14. At 90 for six Nepal still needed 65 from the last five overs.

Karan KC hit a big six off Kinchit Shah but could not repeat the same result off the pace of Haroon Arshad and Nepal were seven wickets down and had a mountain to climb. The tail-enders tried to hit the ball out of the park as they had against Malaysia and Sandeep and Aarif Sheikh were both out caught at deep mid-wicket as three wickets fell in the same over as had happened in Nepal’s previous match.

Number 11 Abinash Bohara finally cleared the boundary but it was too little too late and Haroon Arshad took his fifth wicket as Bohara was caught at long on. Hong Kong had defeated Nepal by 43 runs in a remarkable repeat of yesterday’s match against Malaysia. Nepal had failed to chase a total of 154 for 6 and a bowler had taken three wickets in an over to bring a speedy end to the innings.

Hong Kong’s spinners deserve great credit for sharing the other five wickets and slowing down Nepal’s chase, but Haroon Arshad was named man of the match for a useful innings and figures of 5 for 16. Hong Kong had bounced back well from their five-nil defeat in Malaysia but Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for the Asia Cup were now hanging by a thread.

Thailand faced Malaysia in the second match of the day as the home team looked to build on the promising signs they showed in their defeat to Singapore on the opening day, while Malaysia knew that they would go to the top of the table with a second victory after being impressive winners against Nepal.

Thailand won the toss and chose to bat first possibly because all three matches so far had been won by the side batting first defending runs on the board. Malaysia have a formidable and varied bowling attack and left-arm spinner Pavandeep Singh conceded only one run from the first over and in the second Syazrul Idrus beat Daniel Jacobs for pace and sent the stumps flying.

Thailand were four for one and Wanchana Uisuk was also bowled in the next over as he went back to Pavandeep. Henno Jordaan and Naveed Pathan would need to concentrate on survival but Naveed was third out as he played on to Pavendeep and Phiriyapong Suanchuai was promoted to gain some valuable international experience.

Thailand reached 12 for 3 after six overs which is the equal third lowest powerplay score recorded in T20 Internationals. Pavendeep finished with excellent figures of 4-1-6-2 and was replaced by another slow left-arm bowler Anwar Rahman who tempted young Piriyapong to hit straight to deep mid-on after he had shaped well with some good technique.

Henno Jordaan finally hit the first boundary as Thailand progressed to 27 for four from 10 overs but he had been joined by Bobby Raina who at least showed some intent as he hit Rahman over mid-off. Raina made it three boundaries in three overs as both batsmen reached double figures as Thailand were 41 for four after 12 overs. Jordaan then hit his second boundary but could not score from the other five balls in the over so the pace was still sedate.

Sharvin Muniandy had been man of the match against Nepal as he took three wickets in an over as batsmen hit his slower ball straight up in the air but Jordaan seemed to have his measure as he hit two sixes over the mid-wicket boundary as Thailand’s innings gained momentum. Left-hander Bobby Raina then followed suite as he hit Anwar Rahman over the mid-wicket boundary. Thailand’s fifth wicket partnership reached 50 as the score had improved to 68 for 4 after 15 overs.

The partnership ended on 51 as Raina was caught on the long on boundary for 20 from 17 balls just as the left-hander was threatening to take Thailand to a useful total. Jordaan quickly followed back to the pavilion as he was caught at long off as Thailand lost their sixth wicket on 72.

Ziaul Hoque was Thailand’s last hope of taking their score above three figures and he tried to clear the long-on boundary from the last ball of the 19th over only for the fielder Syed Aziz to take a catch above his head and standing on the tips of his toes. Thailand’s final score was 85 for 9 with the partnership between Jordaan and Raina accounting for 51 of the 85 runs.

Thailand needed to take early wickets so gave Mahsid Faheem the new ball and he ran in well but there were no real alarms for the Malaysian openers and left-hander Anwar Arudin hit Ziaul Hoque over long off for six in the fourth over. With two fours from the last two balls of the powerplay Anwar had put Malaysia well on track on 33 for no wicket.

Young off-spinner Sorawat Desungnoen had bowled tidily in the match against Singapore but Virandeep Singh hit him for a four and a six as Malaysia’s opening partnership was gathering speed. Virandeep continued by hitting Nopphon Senamontree for six but the bowler at least claimed the first wicket with the score on 54 when he bowled Anwar Arudin for 22.

With the match in danger of slipping away captain Vichanath Singh brought himself on to bowl the tenth over and he claimed the second wicket as Khizar Hayat came down the wicket only to make the ball into a high full toss which he could only spoon to deep mid-wicket.

After 10 over Malaysia were 62 for two and the winning line was already in sight and new batsman Aminuddin Ramly hit Senamontree for a six and a four as Malaysia were looking to improve their net run-rate. In the next over it was Virandeep Singh’s turn to show off his power as he struck Vichanath Singh for six and then raced back for two to bring victory by eight wickets as they finished on 86 for two from 11.5 overs. Virandeep was unbeaten of 41 with two fours and three sixes but it was tall left-arm spinner Parandeep Singh who was named man of the match for figures of 4-1-6-2.

Malaysia had completed a very convincing victory and following their exciting win over Nepal on the opening day Malaysia are the early pace-setters at the top of the table with two wins out of two. Thailand like Nepal have lost both of their matches.

Sun 1-Mar

Nepal v Hong Kong at TCG
Nepal won the toss and elected to field
Hong Kong: 154 for 6 off 20 overs (N.Khan 48)
Nepal: 111 all out off 18.1 overs (G.Malla 46; A.Hussain 3-14, H.Arshad 5-16)
Man of the Match: Haroon Mohammad Arshad (Hong Kong)

Thailand v Malaysia at TCG
Thailand won the toss and chose to bat
Thailand: 85 for 9 off 20 overs (H.Jordan 37)
Malaysia: 86 for 2 off 11.5 overs (V.Singh 41*)
Man of the Match: Pavandeep Jagjit Singh (Malaysia)

Photos by Peter Lim


Tournament page

Filed March 1st, 2020